Voucher Update: Cost Savings in Indiana and Possible Expansion in Wisconsin
An analysis by the Indiana Department of Education showed that the voucher program in that state saved the state's public schools nearly $5 million, says an article in the Courier-Journal.
The law that created the voucher program—which allows taxpayer money to go toward students' private school tuition—requires the department to calculate exactly how much money is saved through vouchers, says the article. (Money is saved because the state spends less money educating voucher students than it would educating them in the regular public school system. That money is supposed to be calculated and returned to school districts.) But although the program saved $5 million, the department only had enough money to refund $3.3 million to public school systems, said the state's budget committee.
Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the legislature are working on expanding the voucher program there.
The deal would expand the program from Milwaukee and Racine to the rest of the state and allow a $150 increase per student for each of the next two years (for a total $300 increase), says the Associated Press.
However, the deal is still in negotiations, and some—including state schools superintendent Tony Evers—oppose any plans to expand the program, saying vouchers siphon money away from public schools.